In our second post comparing the two pieces of legislation for the reform of the National Flood Insurance Program, we will look at how the 21st Century Flood Reform Act and the SAFE-NFIP Act deal with community-wide mitigation efforts.  As a reminder, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act passed the US House on November 14 and is now in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.  FIRM supports the SAFE-NFIP Act which includes as its co-sponsors Congressman Curbelo, who opposed the House bill that passed in November, and Senators Nelson and Rubio on the Senate companion bill.  The NFIP as is has been extended until December 8, and if the Senate doesn’t pass a final version, another extension will be granted.

Once again, FIRM is grateful to the Monroe County Federal legislative team for their detailed analysis of the bills and for sharing that analysis with FIRM so that we can better explain the differences to our members.

  • 21st Century Flood Reform Act  creates unfunded mandate for local governments by forcing communities with more than 50 repetitive loss structures to map and identify such structures and develop a community plan to address those areas, or face sanctions if sufficient progress is not made.
  • The SAFE-NFIP Act authorizes $1 billion to be appropriated to fund flood mitigation assistance and authorizes $800 million to fund mapping activities.

Takeaway:  Neither the SAFE-NFIP Act or current law requires such actions by a local government.  If passed as is, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act requires these actions, authorizes no funding to the communities, and then penalizes them if the actions are not sufficient as determined by FEMA.  The costs of these activities will be passed on to the local taxpayers, who most likely are already paying a high cost for flood insurance.

Please contact Senator Nelson and Senator Rubio and let them know that you do not support the 21st Century Flood Reform Act.  Thank them for being co-sponsors of the SAFE-NFIP Act, and urge them to continue to support an NFIP reform bill that addresses affordability, mitigation and integrity of the program.  If your primary residence is in a state other than Florida, research where your members of Congress stand on NFIP reauthorization, and urge them to support the SAFE-NFIP Act as well.  Flooding is no longer just an issue for coastal communities, and we all need a National Flood Insurance Program that works!

Read next post comparing the two different approaches toward building the integrity of the NFIP.

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